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October 3, 2012

Family Promise to consider suspending operations

PLATTSBURGH — After 10 years of dedicated effort to help struggling families get back on their feet, Family Promise of Clinton County faces an uncertain future. 

At a meeting at the John XXIII College Community Parish in Plattsburgh at noon Wednesday, the nonprofit organization’s Board of Directors will vote on whether to suspend its 2013 operations until it has a clearer picture of what kind of budget it will have for next year. 

The organization helps about 25 families a year by offering them a temporary home at one of 10 faith congregations in the county, where volunteers prepare meals and help with child care.

Twenty-five families may not seem very many, Director Maureen Bradish said, “but we do more than just provide a place to sleep.”

Family Promise provides more intensive case management than is otherwise available, she said, as during the day, program participants come to the Family Promise Day Center in Plattsburgh for support services that include assistance finding housing and jobs. Family Promise also runs an Eviction Prevention Program and meets other needs.

That means, Bradish said, that families often spend less time as Family Promise clients than they might staying in the low-budget motels that is the alternative through Clinton County Social Services.

Just now, she said, there is a family of six in the program. If they were put up in a motel, they’d need two rooms, which would cost about $500 a week. So far, that family has been served by Family Promise for a month, which would otherwise have cost $2,000 or more for shelter.

FUNDING LOSSES

As well, Bradish pointed out, families often develop strong connections with Family Promise volunteers, which helps stack the deck in their favor when it comes to maintaining a residence in the future.

“A lot of my families have no (other) supports.”

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